Objective: When comparators' prices decrease due to market competition and loss of exclusivity, the incremental clinical effectiveness required for a new technology to be cost-effective is expected to increase; and/or the minimum price at which it will be funded will tend to decrease. This may be, however, either unattainable physiologically or financially unviable for drug development. The objective of this study is to provide an empirical basis for this discussion by estimating the potential for price decreases to impact on the cost-effectiveness of new therapies in hypertension. Methods: Cost-effectiveness at launch was estimated for all antihypertensive drugs launched between 1998 and 2008 in the United Kingdom using hypothetical degrees of incremental clinical effectiveness within the methodologic framework applied by the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were computed and compared with funding thresholds. In addition, the levels of incremental clinical effectiveness required to achieve specific cost-effectiveness thresholds at given prices were estimated. Results: Significant price decreases were observed for existing drugs. This was shown to markedly affect cost-effectiveness of technologies entering the market. The required incremental clinical effectiveness was in many cases greater than physiologically possible so, as a consequence, a number of products might not be available today if current methods of economic appraisal had been applied. Conclusions: We conclude that the definition of cost-effectiveness thresholds is fundamental in promoting efficient innovation. Our findings demonstrate that comparator price attrition has the potential to put pressure in the pharmaceutical research model and presents a challenge to new therapies being accepted for funding. Copyright

cost-effectiveness, health technology assessment, pharmaceutical innovation, pharmaceutical price erosion, pharmaceutical research and development
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jval.2011.08.1736, hdl.handle.net/1765/34926
Value in Health
Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM)

Refoios Camejo, R, McGrath, C, Herings, R.M.C, Meerding, W.J, & Rutten, F.F.H. (2012). Antihypertensive drugs: A perspective on pharmaceutical price erosion and its impact on cost-effectiveness. Value in Health, 15(2), 381–388. doi:10.1016/j.jval.2011.08.1736